Sofbang Tech Team Tips Series: How Oracle POS Communicates with a Centralized Balance System

What is POS?

A point-of-sale (POS) system is a computerized replacement for a cash register. Much more complex than the cash registers of even just a few years ago, the POS system can include the ability to record and track customer orders, process credit and debit cards, connect to other systems in a network, and manage inventory.

Oracle Retail POS Suite

An important part of the in-store experience, for both the customer and the store associate, is the delivery of the retailer’s brand. Designed with the highest degree of flexibility on the market, Oracle Retail Point-of-Service provides retailers with a user interface that can be easily modified to reflect an individual brands look and feel. Oracle Retail Point-of-Service can be configured to present a retailers branding, from the colour schemes, icons and text of the global and local navigation buttons, to the orientation of the prompt, response and status regions, the use of images, logos and colour schemes in the work area, though the support of technology such as touch screen. This same flexibility allows overall solution to support multiple brands

Today I am going to share my experience that how I integrated the Oracle POS with a client’s outdated Legacy Balance System.

Legacy Balance System

It was the centralized system to calculate the data about sold items for a brand/store in a day. It was a file based system with XML format (Extensible Markup Language) as well as maintained physical directories for each store with a dedicated Store ID to consume the incoming/transformed files from middleware side.

In the solution, three Oracle products were leveraged.  I have listed below what was used to provide the solution for integration between Oracle POS and Legacy Balance System:

  • Oracle SOA Suite
  • Oracle Service Bus
  • Oracle Data Integrator

Let’s begin with the roles of the Oracle Products that were used to deliver the solution and then take a deeper dive to technical architecture.

Oracle Service Bus

This product was majorly used for pickup and delivery of files to third party/remote locations which we call FTP (File Transfer Protocol) in technical term. It was also used for data transformation and data merging of small size files using XQuery.

Oracle SOA Suite

The reason behind using this Oracle Product was dealing with complex transformation rules which can be implemented in XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformation). XSLT is a language for transforming the XML documents to other XML document or other formats such as plain text.

Oracle Data Integrator

This tool covers all of the data integration requirement even if we talk about high volume data, high-performance batch loads, event-driven and communicating with SOA Services. The reason behind using this tool was to deal with transformation of big volume data.

 

POS Integration Architecture

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Business Use Case

Stores get opened up and sell their goods for whole day using Oracle POS system on each register. At the end of the day, when stores get closed and perform end of the day activity by closing each register. The data about the sold items get collected/wrapped up in the form of RTLog (Retail Transaction Log) and pushed to JMS Topic which is configured on Middleware’s WebLogic Server.

 

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Oracle SOA Service consumes the message from JMS Topic, extract the jar file and write the data in file on local box (WebLogic System) as per Store Id which is sent in JMS Message’s Header. Once RTLog file gets written by SOA Service then ODI Service will be called to transform the RTlog’s data and prepare file as per required for Target system (Legacy Balance System).

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Once the transformation part is done in ODI, the ODI Service sends a message to the OSB Service with required parameters saying that transformation is complete and file is ready to move to client’s box (FTP Location). In OSB, we get parameters with the values of file name and location of written file. OSB would perform FTP operation and move file to Legacy System’s directory as per Store ID.

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The integration took place for a popular clothing brand with more than 1800 stores in the United States and Canada.

This was just one cycle of the integration that was performed from Oracle POS to Legacy Balance System. There are are several others that I look forward to discussing in future blog posts.

Proximity Based Marketing Solution Accelerator – A New Trend for Marketing Your Business

Proximity based marketing is a strategy deployed within a mobile application with the help of WiFi or beacons to communicate directly with your customer in a way that is timely, relevant and tailored to them. With the built-in ability to deliver appropriate and personalized mobile experiences, proximity marketing has seen widespread adoption and growth with both business and customers. Proximity marketing enables brands to communicate better with more highly targeted and personalized information towards the consumer.

With the advancement in technology, mobile devices have become the preferred way of accessing digital content. Businesses are constantly trying to find new and creative ways to engage with their customers – especially around consumer loyalty and improving customer satisfaction. However, they find that they lack the necessary resources to dedicate an elaborate marketing strategy targeted to their customers.

To connect successfully with their mobile consumers, retailers need an advanced solution. In my opinion, proximity based marketing is a clear answer.

The automation capabilities of beacon technology used in proximity marketing can lay the foundation for creating and executing an engagement strategy that sets a business apart from its competitors.

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Sofbang has utilized its cloud experience, creating our Proximity Based Marketing solution accelerator,  to deliver a mobile experience for businesses like retailers and hotels to notify guests or consumers about on-site promotions and events, restaurants for sending daily specials or coupons, and travel hubs providing maps, relevant information or display ads, etc. It allows you to connect with customers while they are near your business and encourages them to take action. Our easy- to-use solution accelerator appeals to, tech-savvy shoppers while improving the shopper experience, growing your core shopper base, and gaining insights on store performance.

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The Proximity Based Marketing solution accelerator provides retailers the ability to enhance a customer’s shopping experience by sending them personalized messages and rewards while they are shopping in the store. A customizable notification feature welcomes customers as they enter the store – via the app in their smartphone.  Its integration capabilities efficiently and securely interface with backend systems such as Oracle Data Cloud, BlueKai, Eloqua or other marketing analytics centric platforms. With the power of the Oracle Mobile Platform and the help of WiFi or Bluetooth beacons, it incorporates robust mechanisms for accepting data collection (e.g. when the consumer is physically in the store and which department they are in) We utilize Estimote beacons, being the preferred proximity marketing beacon of choice, which broadcast radio signals through built-in antennas that communicate with a customer’s mobile device. The mobile devices interpret the data that is contained in a customer’s ID, sensor readings, or URL addresses sent by the beacons to launch notifications. The messages are shown on the notification panel and let shoppers instantly receive sale information and allow them to accept and add the offer to their cart. The solution offers a way to conduct context-aware interaction with customers and provide relevant information about the product and the brand.

Additionally, Sofbang’s Proximity Based Marketing solution accelerator enables retailers with the ability to improve the content that is sent to their customers the next time they are in the store by allowing you to identify behavioral buying habits which lead to better data of the customer.

The application delivers the following benefits:

  • Offering highly targeted on-the-spot coupons and exclusive offers
  • Connect with customers or potential customers when they are more likely making a purchase
  • Friendly and engaging ways to market and sell to your customers
  • Access to real-time analytics and insights on customer shopping behaviors that can help to better improve marketing and sales strategies.
  • Market directly to your consumer at the right place, at the right time with highly appropriate and personalized notifications.

 

Enter the Oracle Forms Extreme Mobile Makeover Contest

In a world where everything is at the tip of your fingers, why are your enterprise systems glued to your desktop?  Imagine if you could access and operate your Oracle Forms/EBS Systems from any location.  What if your Oracle Forms system was so agile and easy to adapt, that any business function performed in Oracle Forms could be included in a mobile application? What would you include in your mobile strategy?

How about …

  • Doing time reporting directly from your mobile device
  • Managing work orders and entering follow up actions in the field
  • Performing onsite inspections
  • Generating revenue with point of sale solutions

…all without redeveloping your Oracle Forms/EBS systems.

Now is the chance to see for yourself!

By using our solution, we can expose existing Forms applications to mobile without writing one line of code. That’s right!  No code and no need for redevelopment or migration of Oracle Forms.

Not possible?

It is.  And to prove how easy it is, we are hosting an extreme makeover mobile use case competition with our contest partner AuraPlayer.  Together we will select three companies to showcase a business case that is currently a legacy to mobile challenge.  This summer, we will develop a prototype mobile application for each of the three finalists free of charge (trial software licenses included).  The finalists’ applications will be presented at Oracle OpenWorld in San Fransisco in September 2016.  Find the full details here.

Want to enter the contest and see your Oracle Forms application on a mobile device? All you have to do is complete this application before Monday, June 20, 2016. Three finalist will be selected to get a prototype of their app developed, and exposure of their creative mobile vision at Oracle OpenWorld.

In addition, one winning finalist will be selected to receive: A free Samsung 6S Edge+ 

State & Local: Licensing and Permitting – A Streamlined Solution in Oracle PaaS

Licensing and permitting is a vital line of business to all state and local public sector entities throughout the world. Whether it is a business license, driver’s license, vehicle residential permit or any other license or permit, public sector departments have mastered the process of issuing, managing and tracking licenses specific to their domain. While the current processes may be down to a science, state and local organizations continue to deal with critical challenges of having to constantly do more with less.

Organizations are looking to modernize, consolidate or retire antiquated systems that are manual, paper intensive and require redundant, repetitive data entry. Our latest whitepaper dives deeper into the complexities associated with these challenges and provides a fresh perspective, along with best practices to streamline the licensing and permitting functions within an enterprise.

Read the whitepaper(PDF): State & Local: Licensing and Permitting

Samsung and Oracle Providing the Engine for Enterprises to Mobilize their Business in the Cloud

Sofbang Samsung App

Two leaders in enterprise technology are providing customers the tools that accelerate development and delivery of mobile solutions

Samsung and Oracle are making it easier for enterprises to embrace today’s modern work setting and take their business to the cloud. The two innovation leaders are partnering to give developers and solution providers the advanced tools to create and deliver mobile apps and enterprise solutions. The collaborative effort will let professionals gain a new level of mobile functionality for ultimate engagement and productivity.

Samsung and Oracle are working closely with select systems integrators, like Sofbang to help customers across all industries leverage their existing legacy systems and take advantage of the benefits of mobile and cloud, modernizing their IT infrastructure, empowering users and realizing greater cost efficiencies. The companies are also working together on an expanded set of Apache Cordova plug-ins and code samples to help customers modernize their enterprise applications with rich mobile user experiences. This brings together the market-leading strength of each company – Oracle’s exceptional enterprise software and Samsung’s elite device features.

Samsung and Oracle have worked with a number of systems integrators to foster creation of innovative mobile and Internet of Things enterprise solutions. Sofbang’s contracts management solution, which was developed to allow comprehensive management and approval of contracts through rich notifications on Samsung Gear S wearables and secured by Samsung’s KNOX mobile security platform will be showcased at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 22-26th.

“In today’s mobile environment, it is critical that businesses deploy a mobile-first strategy to maintain success and accomplish growth,” said Young Kim, Vice President, Enterprise Business Team at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung and Oracle are not only helping customers through mobility but also enabling developers and solution providers to create next generation mobile applications and services that are driving a new frontier of productivity.”

Sofbang’s Contracts Management Mobile App that leverages the Oracle Mobile Cloud Service will also be on display at Mobile World Congress, including industry-specific solutions from both Oracle and Samsung. Samsung will be located at Booth 6A30 in Hall 6, with Oracle at Booth 3B20 Hall 3.